Watershed managing meeting tonight

Thursday, July 20, 2006

By Steve Moyer

Nevada Daily Mail

A public meeting slated for 7 o'clock tonight in the home economics building at the Vernon County fairgrounds offers local residents the chance to provide input on a proposed watershed management plan being developed by the Osage Valley Resource and Development Council and the Bates and Vernon County Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Cecil Pritchett, Osage Valley RC&D Council president and director of Community Development for the state RC&D association, said that it was important for residents to come to the meetings.

"It's definitely for farmers and rural people," Pritchett said. "But anyone interested in the watershed plan should be there."

The meeting, like one in Bates County July 18, is seeking public input on natural resource issues and concerns previously gathered from residents of the watersheds of the Marias des Cygnes River, Marmaton River and the Little Osage River.

Over the past 18 months a technical committee comprised of several partners, led locally by the SWCDs met to assemble, discuss and sort the information collected from area residents. Specific issues and concerns were grouped into categories which identified what participants felt would make their watershed healthy once again.

The topics were placed into 10 categories: Erosion/ soil loss; solid waste management; water quality and quantity; public information/ education; mining and quarries; residential/ urban; farmland conversion to residential land use; habitat loss, aquatic and upland; agricultural systems,CAFO/AFO, grazing/

cropping; public/private partnerships.

Technical committee members will make oral summaries at the meeting on each concern. Watershed residents and community leaders are encouraged to comment and offer views for the report before the plan is finalized.

Copies of the draft plan will be available at the meeting as well as in designated offices in Bates and Vernon counties. Questions may be directed to Mark Curtis, Rocky Steiger or David Clyman, (417) 667-8137, or to Jane Swaters and Don Schuster at the Osage Valley RC&D office, (660) 885-5567.

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